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UNCOVERING the original message of the Arabic Qur'an by using Lexicons compiled more than 1,000 years ago.

ISOLATING Fact from Fiction.

RECOVERING Hope and regaining the perspective where Humanity is one, God's Message is one, and our Future CAN become one we all look forward to!


Image: 14th C. Qur'an, Mamluk origin, Library of Congress; Rights obtained.

A BREAKTHROUGH project which helps understand the Qur'an AS REVEALED -not just 'as explained.'


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 119; Qur’an 11:118-123; 12: 1-2, page 235

Welcome Friends:  Ahlan wa sahlan!
Sorry for the delay, but read on and you'll know why!

Yusuf Ali’s Translation of our new Chapter.
Muhammad Asad’s Translation of our new Chapter.
Their commentaries can only be read in verse by verse view.

PAGE 235 Arabic Qur’an.

1.  We ended yesterday’s Reading with an important piece of information, which led us to understand that:
Destruction does NOT take place in communities that ‘maintain’ their positive behavior, and constantly ‘mend’ the negative! 

With that context in mind, we continue to Verse 118, which tells us that it is in our nature to be different:

“If your Lord had willed, He would have made (all) people one community, yet they would still have differed.” 

In Verse 119 we see that it is ultimately OUR choice; whether we seek our Lord’s Mercy or not… whether we constantly mend the wrongs committed or not… and whether we end up enjoying OR suffering the ultimate consequences to our deeds.

This concept is similar to HQ 5:48, which we discussed on March 12th

“… if God had willed He would have indeed made of you a single ‘people/community,’ but (He willed it otherwise) to test (each of) you with what He has granted you, therefore compete towards all ‘virtues/good works,’ unto God will you all return then He will inform you of the matters in which you were (constantly) differing.”

As this Chapter comes to an end, Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, is told in Verse 120 that he was given the narratives of the previous Messengers so as to strengthen his resolve and to put his mind at ease (“fou’aad فؤاد”;  see March 29th).

2.  Verses 121- 122 are a warning from Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, to his people, similar to what Prophet Shu’ayb had said, in Verse 93 (see May 24th).  We explained that then, saying:

“Each of us works according to his/her STATION - meaning that we translate into action what we already think, believe and desire: the Faithful will work in Faith, and the Deniers in Denial.”

Finally, the Chapter of Hud ends with Verse (123), addressed to Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him (and to us in general) stating that all matters Unseen in the heavens and on Earth are God’s, and to Him all matters shall return… and calling upon the Prophet/us to worship God and rely on Him Alone, for no deed we commit can escape His Knowledge!
And so ends this Chapter, and begins another.

سورة يوسف
The Chapter of Joseph

From Yusuf Ali’s Introduction:

In subject matter this Surah is entirely taken up with the story (recapitulated rather than told) of Joseph, the youngest (but one) of the twelve sons of the patriarch Jacob. The story is called the most beautiful of stories (12:3) for many reasons;
·   it is the most detailed of any in the Quran;
·   it is full of human vicissitudes, and has therefore deservedly appealed to men and women of all classes;
·   it paints in vivid colours, with their spiritual implications, the most varied aspects of life-the patriarch's old age and the confidence between him and his little best-beloved son, the elder brothers' jealousy of this little son, their plot and their father's grief, the sale of the father's darling into slavery for a miserable little price, carnal love contrasted with purity and chastity, false charges, prison, the interpretation of dreams, low life and high life, Innocence raised to honour, the sweet "revenge" of Forgiveness and Benevolence, high matters of state and administration, humility in exaltation, filial love, and the beauty of Piety and Truth.”

From Muhammad Asad’s Introduction:

“…what distinguishes the Qur'anic treatment of the story in a deeper sense is its spiritual tenor: contrary to the Bible, in which the life of Joseph is presented as a romantic account of the envy to which his youthful innocence is first exposed, of the vicissitudes which he subsequently suffers, and, finally, of his worldly triumph over his brothers, the Qur'an uses it primarily as an illustration of God's unfathomable direction of men's affairs - an echo of the statement that "it may well be that you hate a thing the while it is good for you, and it may well be that you love a thing the while it is bad for you: and God knows, whereas you do not know'.' (2:216). The whole of this surah might be described as a series of variations on the theme "judgment [as to what is to happen] rests with none but God", explicitly enunciated only in verse 67, but running like an unspoken leitmotif throughout the story of Joseph.”

3.   Verses 1- 2 contain disjointed 'letters' مقطّعات followed, as usual, by mention of the Compilation. 
This time, however, the Compilation is mentioned in the first Verse, the Qur’an is mentioned in the second, AND furthermore, the Qur’an is specified as being ‘Arabic,’ “ that you might secure knowledge.”


·   Firstly, they tell us that the Compilation is one thing, and the Qur’an is another, a CRUCIAL distinction to anyone who seeks enlightenment!
When we do NOT make this distinction, we face a HUGE problem, especially when both words are mentioned in one verse, as in HQ 15:1:

 الر تلك آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ وَقُرْآنٍ مُّبِينٍ

I would explain this verse as follows:

Alif Lam Ra; Such are Signs/Verses of the Compilation and a ‘self-evident, enlightening’ Qur’an.
 Couldn’t find one word to explain (مبين )

When we see the ten side-by-side explanations (click ‘Translations’ tab) we notice the huge problem commentators have faced in explaining this verse.  Also see footnote [i].
This verse, and others like it, clearly speak of TWO distinct entities:  a Compilation AND a Qur’an. 
Notice that three translations out of ten (3/10) came closest to what the Arabic actually says, Pickthall’s among them.  Notice that he did NOT repeat the word ‘of’ a second time:

Alif Lam Ra. These are verses of the Scripture and a plain Reading.

Regular Readers will remember our discussion of March 21st, where we touched upon the difference and showed that a ‘compilation,’ any compilation, is made up of compiled ‘static sheets.’ 
The ‘Qur’an,’ on the other hand is unique. 
It is a LIVE READING; both interactive and personal. 
It is a DYNAMIC activated by the Reader- ‘qaari قارئ-’, and is indeed THE reason behind this entire Blog (as mentioned on December 27th 2009).  
This Researcher has been sharing with YOU, dear Reader, Activation of this Dynamic, as we redirect ourselves, together, towards our Creator, and come closer to each other, day after day.  This Dynamic will help us regain the understanding, love, and motivation enjoyed AND transmitted by early Believers.

These are the SIX components to the root verb ‘qara’a قرأ-’- (as found in our 1,000 year-old Arabic lexicon[ii]).  Any true ‘Qari’ Reader should fulfill all six:
1.Gathering (the information from its SOURCES).
2. Carrying it (in one’s Consciousness).
3. Proceeding with purpose (within context, and focused on our ultimate goal).
4. Bearing witness (to what we know at every juncture).
5. Being timely (gaining momentum day after day, so that Time becomes a friend, rather than an adversary, and presenting what we know at the exact time it is required- see last component).
6. Being hospitable; sharing (everything we gain is to be shared with others; only in doing so will the first 5 components gain full value, and only in doing so is the entire Dynamic activated!).

Remember, that the verb ‘awha’ "أوحى" (usually translated as ‘revealed’) literally means ‘to convey exclusive information to another so that they become knowledgeable of it!

All this shows us that the command ‘Iqra’ is no other than a directive to proceed, processing and disseminating information, constantly seeking and interacting with knowledge in increments related to Time; our intellect functioning at its best!

What does this mean, in relation to the Compilation and the Qur’an? 

·   It means that what we have on our shelves or in our computer-files is the Compilation (static sheets). 
This includes every explanation our forefathers have written about the Qur’an, even in Arabic.  In other words, their live interaction with it, their dynamic ‘qiraa’ahقراءة- - of it, is theirs alone.  Yes, we have inherited their work and we DO value it, but if we adopt it indiscriminately it will be no more than ‘static sheets’ to us.  In other words, we have to study their work and make conscious assessments of everything they have written.  Being scholars, that is exactly what they would expect of us!  We discussed this on March 26th, where we said: 
“Moses’ Compilation was both Guidance and Light, UNTIL it was made into static sheets by later generations of his followers.” 
·   It also means that the Compilation we work on, and interact with, is the Qur’an (interactive).
The fact that the Qur’an is Interactive, has been LOST on Humanity for the past one thousand years or more.  We have been treating the Qur’an as a dry ‘Book’ full of inscribed sheets, and God has told us that it is NOT so- it is of Abiding Benefit, which is the literal meaning of ‘blessed!”
The Arabic Qur’an is -and always has been- interactive.  It is the living words of the LIVING Creator, which means that, from its side, it is indeed, LIVE.  All that is required for ‘interaction’ to take place, is for it to be approached by a LIVE human Consciousness, a Reader, a Qari’, who, from his/her side would look to the original live words of the Living God, and attempt to fulfill the six components above.

And yes, dear Reader, what you suspect is true:  
All translations/explanations are static.... until YOU approach them with consciousness, referring them to their Arabic Origin.   

Back to our discussion on the first two verses of this Chapter, where we said that they were VERY IMPORTANT for three reasons, and we discussed the first, namely that the Compilation is one thing, and the Qur’an another.  And now:

·   Secondly, because they tell us that the Qur’an is ‘Arabiعربي-’.
·   Thirdly, because they tell us that the Qur’an is ‘Arabiعربي-’ for a purpose, which is to ‘secure knowledge.’

Copy + paste عربي in Tanzil.  Arabi-عربي means eloquently self-expressive… yet the main reason for the Qur’an being so, is to allow its listeners/readers to SECURE KNOWLEDGE, so as to obtain the rightful Guidance AT ANY TIME. 

At any given time Readers who interact with it could secure knowledge… IF they returned its ‘Arabic’ words to their original connotation! 
IF.  If.  if.
What a responsibility!
(Have you read our Posts of March 20, 27, and April 2?  If not, please do so for valuable information on the Arabic Language.)

But, why is the Arabic language so special?
As Ibn Jinni (deceased 1002 A.D. [iii]) has detailed in his famous book "Al Khasa’is"- الخصائص’, and as linguistic evidence clearly shows, of all the languages on earth today: the Arabic Language is the only one which is still linked to early human communication, retaining original associations of sound to meaning. 
In other words, before symbolic language evolved, in the earliest of human communication, each uttered sound pointed to a distinct meaning, and, amazingly enough, each Arabic letter/sound still does. 

Look at the table in footnote:
The words in English at the end of every list are only reminders/examples of what the sound denotes.

-The ‘m’ sound means exactly what pursed lips denote: Gathering and coming together.
-The ‘a’ sound reverberates and echoes, denoting: Return, coming back.

Which is why every baby on earth would call ‘ma ma,’ meaning: “Gather me to you, come back to me, hold me, come back!”
This is AMAZING and we will be discussing this in more detail later!

To new Readers who might not realize the full extent of what we are doing on this Blog, I say quite openly:

THE RESEARCH PRESENTED HERE IS A BREAK-THROUGH, not only in understanding the Arabic Qur’an by searching 1,000 year-old Lexicons, but also in bringing spirituality and awareness, understanding and acceptance, togetherness and a common goal to ALL who seek self-fulfillment and a better life for future generations.

It could also help resolve a fierce conflict going on between ‘Traditionalists’ and ‘Reformists.’  Our research, which uses both Linguistic Source and Context, has resulted in amazing findings which cannot be summarily refuted by Traditionalists, or considered inapplicable by Reformists- although its findings will always be open to further scrutiny, as indeed it should be!
I am hoping that we, as ‘Readers’ -Qar’i’s who are activating a Dynamic that has lain inactive for more than a thousand years, could be the forerunners in spreading a mind-set that would bring the entire world together in Brotherhood.

Enough said! 
Our next Reading is from HQ 12: 3-14.
Peace unto all!

[i] In Arberry’s explanation, we find the word ‘kitaab’ as ‘Book’, while ‘Qur’an’ remains the same:
Alif Lam Ra. Those are the signs of the Book and of a manifest Koran.

In both Ali’s and Asad’s explanations, the word ‘kitaab’ is translated as ‘Revelation,’ while Qur’an remains the same.  But at least Arberry kept the conjunction ‘wa’ or ‘AND’ which Ali and Asad omitted.  Asad explains in his notes, saying:

“..the conjunction wa, which, in its simplest connotation, signifies “and”; but since it is used here to stress the present, particular instance of the divine writ (al-kitāb), it can be omitted in the translation without affecting the meaning of the sentence.”

Linguistics will disagree! 
This is no ordinary sentence.  Every change –no matter how small- affects the meaning of a Qur’anic verse. 
In Arabic, ‘wa’ or ‘and’ denotes a successive topic or object, distinct from the first.

[ii] إننا نجد فيه أن "اقرأ" من أصل واحد صحيح هو "قري"، وأن المواد السِت الآتية هي أهم فروعه:
1. قري: أصل صحيح يدل على جمع واجتماع، ومنه "القرية".
2. القَرى: الظَهر وما يحمل، يقال ”ما قرأت هذه الناقة سلىً“ أي ما حملت قط.
3. القرو: القصد، ويقال "قريتُ" و "قروتُ" إذا سلكتُ.
4. القارئة: الشاهد، وجمعها القواري وهم الشهود. إنهم يَقْرون الأشياء التي يجمعونها عِلماً ثم يشهدون بها. ولهذا يقال: الناس هم قواري الله تعالى في الأرض.
5. القرء: الوقت: يقال: هبَت الرياح لقارئها – أي لوقتها، وجمعها "قروء".
6. . القراء: الضيافة، و"القِرى"ما يقدّم إلى الضيف".

الوحي: "إلقاء عِلْمٍ في إخفاء أو غيره إلى غيرك...وكلُّ ما ألقيتَه إلى غيرك حتَّى علِمَهُ فهو وَحيٌ كيف كان"

[iii] "الخصائص" -أبو الفتح عثمان بن جني- توفي 392 للهجرة- A.D. 1002
1. “A”: return إياب: آب، آل: answer, echo.

2. “3A”: Enhance, prolong, amplify -علو .

3. “B”: gathering brought to a close, halted: book, brake, bracket باب-.

4. “D” rigidity, closure: deport, dismiss. دفع

5. “Dh”: power, force: dominion ضغط - ضرب

      AND/OR Darkness, doom: dull, dirty, damned, daft, dreary. ضل- ظلم-

6. “F”: open, exposed, unraveled: face, free, frank. : فتح- فك- فكر- فسح- فهم- فرح- فرج- فر

7. “Gh”: disappearance: ghost, ghoul. غيب- غرق- غفل-غسق- غمر

8. “H”: breath, breathlessness, stimulation, endearment, whisper, cry, holler: Hey! Hi! Ah! Oh! ها-هلم

9. “Hh”: the HUB of stimulation/endearment: Love. Hot.حب- حميم-

10. “J”: strain, exertion: job, jump جهد

             AND/OR firmness: justice, jury.جلد

11. “K”: contact, interaction, friction: connect, combine, communicate. كلم- كتب- كسب-

12. “Kh”: soft, yielding; break apart. خوف- خون- خير- خمل

13. “Al” bond, attach: love, link.الله

14. “La”: taste, savor, experience: lick, look, live. لمّ- لمس،

15. “M”: gather, collect, bring together: mama, meet, match, mesh, mix. مخ- مع- مد- ملة -

16. “N”: suppressed, hidden, concealed: night, nuance, nest. نبت- نبع- نتج- نفخ- نفس

17. “Q” (reaching) end, base: core, crux. قع- قعر- قاع- قلب

18. “R” continuation, repetition: remain, resume, retain, reverse. رحل- ركض- رسم- رتع

19. “S”: initiating sharp motion +potential to continue: sit, stand, start. سار، سال-

20. “Ss”: solid, rock-hard. - - صمد- صلب

21. “Sh”: disperse, extend, spread: shine, shoot. نشر- شارك- شوى-

22. “T, Tt, termination that is gradual, semi-gradual, abrupt: tire.تاب- ترك- طرح-

23. “Th” (that): vigorous movement (masculine). - ذاب

24. “Th” (thrive): soft, gentle, tender (feminine). ثاب

25. “Y”: slight prolonged exertion: yawn, yearn. يبس- يد- يأس- يفع- يسر- يتم

26. “Z”: continuous protrusion, exposure: zenith - زن- نشز (غزل،

        AND/OR slip, slide: zipper. زل- زلق- زحف- زمن).

Also, different combinations of sound would enhance or change the meanings: (ت،ط، د : (قتر- قطر- قدر) قط- قطع- قطر- قطف (لف+قطع

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